Robert Griffin III vs. Hall of Fame QBs
Adam Schefter [ARCHIVE]
October 20, 2012
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More times than anyone can count, former NFL coach Bill Parcells warned about praising young players too much.

"Let's not put him in Canton yet," Parcells has said about almost any rookie who made an early impact.

And so while no one should put Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III in Canton yet, it is fair to show how advanced he has been by comparing him to the signal-callers in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Through six games heading into Sunday's pivotal NFC East showdown against the defending world champion New York Giants, Griffin's 70.2 percent completion percentage is better than all 26 quarterbacks in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. By a lot.

Of the Hall of Fame quarterbacks, Steve Young has the highest career completion percentage at 64.3 percent. Joe Montana is at 63.2 percent, Troy Aikman at 61.5 percent, Jim Kelly at 60.1 percent, Dan Marino at 59.4 percent and John Elway at 56.9 percent.

Griffin tops them all, with ease. And the other members of his quarterback draft class aren't far behind.

Through Week 6, Seattle Seahawks rookie Russell Wilson has completed 62.5 percent of his passes, better than every Hall of Fame quarterback other than Young and Montana. Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill has completed 59.6 percent of his passes, an even higher percentage than Marino, the former Dolphins quarterback he can only hope to try to make fans forget. Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden has completed 55.8 percent of his passes, and the Indianapolis Colts' Andrew Luck is at 53.4 percent.

Every one of those marks is impressive, as much a sign of the NFL's pass-happy times as the young quarterbacks' advancements. But none of the rookie quarterbacks has been sharper than Griffin.

As the Redskins continue bringing along Griffin slowly, the most impressive part of his play has been his efficiency. Griffin has been spot on with his passes and makes few mistakes. On his 161 passing attempts, he has thrown only two interceptions.

Griffin has been on the mark. And while no one should put him in Canton, it's OK to put him, and some of his fellow rookie quarterbacks, in the conversation with some of the men already there.

On to this week's 10 Spot:

1. Protective of Eli: Eli Manning is far less mobile than Griffin, and the Giants' offensive line was the team's most maligned unit heading into the season. And yet as they prepare for Sunday's NFC East showdown with the Redskins, the Giants have gone 197 minutes and 12 seconds spanning three-plus games since Manning was last sacked. With an offensive line featuring left tackle Will Beatty, left guard Kevin Boothe, center David Baas, right guard Chris Snee and right tackle Sean Locklear, the Giants are showing why they still might be the team to beat. Even with regular right tackle David Diehl missing, the Giants are playing as if their offensive line were one of the best in the league. Manning, Ahmad Bradshaw, Victor Cruz, the defense and the usual suspects got their fair share of praise after New York blew out San Francisco. But the men along the offensive line who usually get noticed only for negative plays have made plenty of positive ones, not just Sunday, but the past three weeks. They have given up only five sacks all season (four on Manning) and are the unsung reason the Giants are in first place.

2. Bears get O from D: Somehow Detroit must do what other teams have not: slow a Chicago scoring machine that has put up points at an unprecedented rate. To do that, the Lions' biggest concern should be Chicago's defense, not its offense. Over the past three games, all W's, the Bears' defense has accounted for more points than the opposing offenses. In those three games, the Bears' defense has scored five touchdowns -- one against St. Louis, two against Dallas, two more against Jacksonville. Cornerback Charles Tillman has scored two of those touchdowns, giving him the most career defensive touchdowns -- and think about this and all the great defenders this team has had -- in franchise history with eight. Chicago's other starting cornerback, Tim Jennings, was named NFC Defensive Player of the Month for September. And while the headlines usually go to Julius Peppers, Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs -- who also has two touchdowns in the past two games -- the Bears' cornerback tandem has become the best in the league. Seattle's is strong with Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman, St. Louis' is good with Cortland Finnegan and Janoris Jenkins, and so is Atlanta's with Dunta Robinson and Asante Samuel, Dallas' with Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne, and Philadelphia's with Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. But Tillman and Jennings have not only been good, they've been difference-makers on the league's most difference-making defense.

3. Ronde's résumé: As running back Tiki Barber racked up Pro Bowl appearances and enough yards to become the Giants' all-time rushing leader, few would have thought twin brother Ronde would have the more distinguished NFL career. But into his 16th season, all with the Buccaneers, cornerback Ronde Barber is the one who has stood out as much for his ability as his durability. His interception return for a touchdown last Sunday was the 12th defensive touchdown of his career, tying Aeneas Williams and Charles Woodson and trailing Rod Woodson and Darren Sharper by one for the most in NFL history. Barber's next start Sunday against New Orleans will be his 222nd, passing former linebacker Derrick Brooks for the most in Buccaneers history. Barber has more consecutive starts than any other cornerback in NFL history, more sacks than any other cornerback in NFL history and more interceptions than any other Buccaneer in history. As the interceptions, touchdowns, starts and records keep piling up, Barber's case for a spot in Canton continues to be bolstered. It was hard to imagine that the Barber most likely to wind up in the Pro Football Hall of Fame would be Ronde. But all these years later, no one can argue.

4. Missing mainstays: It's only fitting that Baltimore and Houston square off Sunday in a key game for both teams. The Ravens are without their vocal defensive leader, Ray Lewis, just as the Texans are without their vocal defensive leader, Brian Cushing. Lewis has a torn triceps, Cushing a torn ACL, and both teams must adjust to playing without their Pro Bowl inside linebackers. The Ravens have surrendered over 200 rushing yards in each of their past two games and now get a Houston team that tries to control the ball and the clock. The Texans have been exploited through the air in each of their past two games and now get a Baltimore team that has transitioned to being more of a throwing team.

5. Philly lacks sacks: Whether it was the right or wrong move, it's not hard to figure out why Philadelphia coach Andy Reid made the surprising...
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